Bayer announced in a press release that it has begun marketing a new injection system in Germany for the Bluetooth-enabled administration and monitoring of Betaferon. The BETACONNECT auto-injector is for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The system uses the myBETAapp to upload data to a smartphone or computer using a Bluetooth or USB connection. Bayer collaborated with Bang & Olufsen Medicom on BETACONNECT and associated software systems.
Prof. V. Limmroth, Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Cologne General Hospital, in Germany said, “By introducing the first MS autoinjector with Bluetooth capabilities, Bayer is helping patients who use Betaferon with a true innovation to gather – in real time – important information on their MS treatment and, if they choose, to seamlessly share the data with their healthcare providers.”
The BETACONNECT autoinjector will help patients optimize their treatment as the system provides notifications based on patient preferences, such as audio or visual reminders, and feedback on injection depth and speed. Patients can opt to share the information with their healthcare providers to further improve treatment. The injector electronically automates the Betaferon injection while the myBETAapp mediates the flow of information from the device to the patient’s computer or smartphone, and to the doctor’s computing device. Bayer is marketing the product first in Germany and expects it to be available in several European countries by the end of 2014. Bayer is starting a U.S. trial, “BETAEVAL - The New BETACONNECT Auto-injector: Adherence and EVALuation of MS Patients Treated With Betaferon,” (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02121444).
Betaferon is marketed in the U.S. and Canada as Betaseron. It is well established in the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific as a safe and effective treatment for MS. In the BENEFIT (BEtaferon in Newly Emerging multiple sclerosis for Initial Treatment) study, results showed that early treatment with the drug is beneficial and has a positive effect on cognition as measured by the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT). Early treatment helped stabilize the disease and slow disease progression compared to delayed treatment.
Using Bluetooth/USB and an app to share the data will enable healthcare providers monitor their patient’s conditions. In addition, the information may be included in the master electronic health record (EHR) or other eClinical systems, which are becoming viable ways for clinical researchers to recruit for clinical trials.